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  2. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Saturday November 18 on HBO. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

Sesame Street Introduces New Autistic Muppet, Julia

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by D'Snowth, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Here's another Sesame Street Newsflash: the street will be gaining another new Muppet character in the form of a cute little autistic girl named Julia.

    http://www.today.com/parents/sesame-street-introduces-first-character-autism-meet-julia-t51491

    Based on the information presented in the article, I really can't tell if she's going to be a part of the series proper, or if she's been created for another one of those Little Children, Big Challenges resource specials/videos. But this is really interesting, and something of a coincidence too: I know a girl from deviantART who created a SST Muppet FC (OC) with autism and when she visited the set, talked to them about incorporating her into the show so they'd have a representation of autistic kids, but they told her they couldn't do that for legal/copyright reasons. . . . which in an of itself reminds me of a friend of mine who, back in the 80s/90s, submitted a suggestion to Fred Wolf Films about incorporating a female turtle on TMNT named Mona Lisa, but they told her they didn't accept unsolicited material . . . then shortly afterwards, came Mona Lisa, the mutant lizard lady.

    But, I digress. This should be interesting; I think it's nice that SST is trying to not only add another female Muppet to the roster, but one with a disability - very inclusive.
     
    Pig's Laundry and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  2. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Well if she is going to be on the actual show now is a great time to add a new character as the number of episodes are supposed to be increasing in season 47.
     
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  3. 123Sunny

    123Sunny Active Member

    Awesome! This is why I love Sesame Street. I think they are more relatable. I can definitely relate to the bit about repeating things and using fewer words. She also looks quite a bit like my own Sesame Street sona! :0
     
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  4. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Ugh, not an actual puppet but just a cartoon? No! Make this an actual puppet. I'm super bummed Mazzarino and therefore Murray is no longer with Sesame. Murray was the best new character in over two decades. But totally excited for new characters. Not sure how the "Sesame on HBO" thing will work but this Julia character, if she was a puppet, sounds promising
     
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  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'll agree it's kind of disappointing that's the case and this character is essentially as important to Sesame Street as Malcom Monster from "Where's My Blankie?" considering how powerful (and long time coming) an Autistic character on Sesame Street could be. I mean, Arthur beat them by several years, and at least Carl is a semi-recurring character. One episode even featured George suggesting that Carl's laser focus would be beneficial. This is a nice step to have an expanded universe character and all, but why couldn't they have made an actual character for the actual show?
     
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  6. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Okay, as it turns out, the girl from dA I mentioned in my original post actually did help inspire SST to do this project:



    She's been in contact with SW all this time, and they informed her about this project weeks ago, it's only been just now made public.
     
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  7. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    I like what they are doing in general but it feels pointless if we're never gonna see her on the actual show.It's gonna be just like Lilly on "Growing Hope Against Hunger" or that Matt Vogel muppet on the Incarceration special. They were all characters that tackle important issues and had so much potential but they weren't used on the show.They could have tackled so many different aspects of these issues and they could have been very well developed characters.But more importantly the fact that they aren't on the show is a missed opportunity for them to get maximum exposure. Less people are going to watch or even care about these Muppets if they're not on the show. So they may never cause a much greater awareness or help the kids who are effected by these issues.
     
  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That's what I was saying in my original post: based on the information that's been made available, it's really hard to determine whether Julia is actually going to be featured on the series proper, or if she's going to be getting her own Little Children, Big Challenges special, or if she's indeed exclusive to this online storybook. Clearly, there's a lot of potential with an autistic Muppet, I think it would be a shame to not further expand on this new character on the show - the street could really use a little more diversity in terms of disabled characters; like Drtooth previously mentioned, ARTHUR's featured semi-regularly/recurring characters with disabilities for years now, such as the aforementioned autistic Carl, the blind Marina, and the wheelchair-bound Lydia. SST used to have Tarrah in the 90s, then for one season she was replaced with Emily who was another wheelchair girl; then there was the blind Aristotle from the 80s. SESAME PARK in Canada had a wheelchair-bound Muppet girl as part of their regular cast.
     
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  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    I have very complicated thoughts about how diversity plays out in kid's programming. There are those who really want to add diverse characters naturally, and those often result in some well written characters that have depth. I mean, look how diverse Hey Arnold is. Every character is genuine. You believe that Arnold and Gerald are close friends and not just the one token black kid that they have an awkward relationship with because he's just there. Which is, unfortunately what the other kind of diversity is, throwing in flat, personality devoid characters to fill out some quota or to clumsily address something. Instead of getting a character with a disability or different ethnicity, you wind up with a disability attached to a character to basically give halfhearted lipservice or just being overly cautious and too afraid to make a disability or ethnicity a character because any character traits will be picked apart as offensive. I feel what hurts potentially relatable characters is cowardice and or lack of care. So I can see Sesame Street being late to the party Arthur already threw here. Not that good character writing would label a character as "Autistic Muppet" instead of "Muppet character with Autism."

    Plus, it is adding a new character into a show. Sesame Street has a strange track record of that. Either you wind up with something like Rodeo Rosie or Deena and Pearl that don't work outright, characters made to fill out holes left by other characters not appearing that get lost in the shuffle when those characters do come back (the entire hotel gang), or characters that stick like glue like a certain red feller. And those latter ones are rare, but when they stick, brother, they stick. And yet, it feels like characters they introduce only to discuss an issue like this...well... you're right! We never see them again, so what's the point? I'm sure they can find a good way to integrate Julia into the show gently and genuinely so that she feels like she's a part of Sesame Street. At least rather than a spotlight saying "look at this character. Isn't she sad but scrappy? Good for her. Now let's do a parody of a hit TV show."
     
    Pig's Laundry likes this.
  10. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Well we don't know for sure if Murray is leaving or not.
     
  11. 123Sunny

    123Sunny Active Member

    That's a shame, but I'll still be excited about Julia. Maybe eventually she can be a puppet for at least one episode. Maybe later she can be a more character. Elmo started off just as a backround and a few others I think too. And no...DONT TAKE MURRAY :0
     
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Everything is pure speculation, and while I usually don't get on the other side of the recast issue, I just don't see anyone else taking up Murray and giving the same effect Joey had. Then again, at a shorter half hour (and the fact they were phasing out his letter and number intros) probably means less Murray time anyway. But that's just a guess.
     
  13. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    I think it would be awesome to have Julia as a main character on the show and have her first season's curriculum be about people with disabilities.They could show autistic people,deaf people and teach sign language,blind people and they could bring back Brandeis as a main character because he's a service dog.

    EDIT: Also if Murray and Ovejita leave after season 46,I think Julia and Brandeis could be interesting replacements.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  14. Daffyfan2003

    Daffyfan2003 Well-Known Member

    To be honest, Murray's main function was hosting the block format which the show has done with out for 39 years, so how much is he really needed? Plus we know that Joey's leaving, so as of right we don't know if they're recasting him or if he's leaving altogether.
    :):o:concern:: Or if he's leaving.

    Though it would be nice to see Murray in a different role, maybe he and Ovejita could be in street scenes or something like that.

    Interesting news about Julia though. Being autistic myself, I can definitely relate.
     
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  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I have a sneaking suspicion that part of the reason that he left was that they were planning to do away with the block hosting bit all together. If it's still part of the up and coming season remains to be seen... especially since it doesn't even have a broadcast date yet.

    Eh, to be brutally honest, I'd rather see the block hosting format leave period than to see anyone else host. Even if it were the Bird hisself. If they're turning a corner, they might as well make it a sharp turn. But this is getting out of subject. I'd love to see Julia as a character on the series, but I wouldn't want to see it become the "Where's Julia?" show. We need to keep that balance.
     
  16. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Well I meant take their place in the cast rather than hosting,not sure if Ovejita and Murray would really fit in street scenes.
     
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I'd hate to think that after working with SST for over twenty years that Joey would be conceited enough to leave the show because they're doing away with the hosting bits: the only info we have is that he fought for over a year over what he thought was "the heart and soul of the show," you really think he thought that Murray was the heart and soul of SST? I mean, if that were the case, it seems like Caroll would have left years ago because of how Elmo's dethroned Big Bird as the unofficial starring Muppet of the show.
     
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  18. Daffyfan2003

    Daffyfan2003 Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Joey was a Muppet performer long before Murray. Remember that he worked with David on the Two Headed Monster and was Lightning in "Elmo Saves Christmas" and he played Horatio the Elephant for quite some time too, so he does deserve to be seen as more than just Murray. My guess is Joey's leaving for the same reasons that Fran and Sonia are leaving. I think he just wants to get involved in other things at the moment.
     
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    Something tells me that wasn't the reason he left, but it seems like trying to pull Murray back a bit might have been a straw among the pile on the camel's back, and we don't really know what the last one was. The "heart and soul" thing seems pretty sinister sounding, though. Maybe the HBO deal wasn't as "spur of the moment" as we think. But I doubt that less Murray screen time would have had him throw his hands in the air and quit. And even if it had no baring on his decision, I'm sure that the show being a half hour might seem like a good way to change the format back. The half hour reruns do feature the hosting bits, but the rest of the show seems rushed, and in some cases edited. And I mean the street stories. I'd say that a half hour relaunch is a prime time to end the "hosted block" format, especially due to the fact that subsegments like Abby's School and Crumby Pictures would be too long to incorporate. The alphabet and number intro songs seem like the perfect sign that Murray's hosting duties were going to dissipate in future episodes. I could see him still doing the "Word on the street" bit in future episodes half hour or not, just not the little guessing games and tune ins. And trust me. I do indeed love these Murray out in the world interacting bits. Much more so than the taped CGI background inserts. But I don't think the show needed them, and I can see them doing away with them.

    But if I'm wrong about that, I don't see how they can do those without Joey. Sure, recasts are a thing now, and I defend every one of them when they get the character and chemistry right. And I'm sure if they recast Murray, whoever performs him will do a bang up job. But Joey seems to be doing a lot more than puppeteering for the show. I'm sure there's some logistics of the hosting bits being lost. I'd say that his departure is a good opportunity to bring the show back to having no real host.
     
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Getting back ot the topic at hand, I talked to Alexandra today to see what she knows about the intended use for Julia, and it would seem that she was, indeed, created specifically for the online storybook and related material . . . so, I guess we won't actually be seeing her on the show any time soon.
     


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